SDSU requires sex assault prevention course for Greek members

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego State University fraternity and sorority members will be required to take an hour-long online course in response to recent sexual assaults on campus, school officials announced Monday.

“Sexual violence on our campus has affected too many people,” said Marc Hess, president of the Interfraternity Council at SDSU. “We recognize we can play a significant role in putting an end to it. These steps we are taking will not solve the issue on their own. But we hope they will be a positive influence on the culture and safety of our campus.”

Several women reported sexual assaults at SDSU during the fall semester.

Francisco Paiva Sousa, 20, was arrested Dec. 9 on suspicion of forcible oral copulation and false imprisonment.

All members of Greek organizations will be required to take a one-hour online course.

Greek organizations also will provide training for bystanders who witness a sexual assault, a leadership forum for sororities and discussions among Greek leaders, school officials and other students.

In April, fraternity members will take part in the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event, in which men walk a mile in high-heels to draw attention to violence against women.

SDSU President Elliot Hirshman applauded the response to problems on campus.

“Addressing this problem requires a significant, sustained effort to change our policies and practices, as well as our broader culture,” Hirshman said. “Education, training, and rigorous enforcement are all necessary components of this communal effort.”

But former leaders in the Greek system doubts a one hour online course can help.

“I think it’s time to recycle the people in the whole Greek system,” said a former president of a sorority who asked to remain anonymous.  “We should shut it down for 4 years and then maybe the new people wouldn’t remember how it is.”

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